Concentration To Relieve Stress

When you choose to replay negative thought patterns during your normal day, it
often keeps you in a negative state. A simple exercise in concentration can do
wonders in breaking a negative condition, and it can also give you immediate relief!
Choose an object, a geometric design, a picture or a candle flame, and while in a
relaxed position, direct your TOTAL conscious awareness toward observing it.
Empty your mind of all thoughts and distractions as if nothing else existed except that
object or picture. Purposefully blank your mind of internal comments, evaluations or
stray pictures. Do this for 60 seconds without interruption. If an interruptive thought
occurs, or your conscious awareness fleets even for a moment to an extraneous
sound or other sensory stimuli, start over again, but do this for one full minute. To
illustrate, look at the black dot in the middle of the circle for 1 full minute without

As simple as this exercise sounds, you'll be surprised how casual thoughts or
interruptions will try to creep into your mind. Concentration in this way does not
mean grimacing with a frown on your face. It simply involves a relaxed focalization
on one subject only. Once you accomplish this externally, do the same exercise
internally with your eyes closed. Look at the subject matter first, then close your
eyes and see it in your mind's eye.
This technique rotates the mind's resonance from negative to neutral to positive,
where a feeling of relief is felt. Afterwards, care must be taken not to have the same
negative thought sequences shift you back again. Even getting close to doing this
exercise correctly will bring about good results, so practice it a lot. It is the precursor
to “Exercise -- Meditation” discussed later.